History, culture & writing

History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many have published, teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, readings, interactive discussion and exercises, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place online now.

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  1. Representations of femininity in contemporary Independent American cinema
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 15 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Mainstream cinema is dominated by male directors and protagonists. American independent cinema, with new ways to produce and distribute film, has increased the female voice in cinema. This course will examine what cinema looks like from a female point of view and how indie cinema has become so important in representing women.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
  2. Classics Week: Power - lessons from ancient Rome
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 21 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Join us for a series of talks exploring the subject of power in ancient Rome. This series takes inspiration from the British Museum’s current exhibition Nero: the man behind the myth (27 May- 24 Oct).

    Our esteemed guest speakers including Mary Beard, Olivette Otele, Tom Holland and Ian Morris will explore Roman soft-power, dynasties, race, identity and more. Presented by the City Lit and British Museum in partnership with UCL.

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    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £45.00 Concession £45.00
  3. The Insurance triangle: Fenchurch Street station
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 22 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Famous for being the station no-one can visualise Fenchurch Street is one of London’s oldest termini and gateway to the eastern side of the City. Stories include London's first railway murder, the birth of Monopoly and the diary of Samuel Pepys. In between, discover a sundial portraying London’s history, a piece of Roman wall, a graceful crescent once home to a hostel for Bengali immigrants, public art and one of the City’s most talked about office blocks, the Walkie-Talkie. Not to mention two of Rachel's ex-workplaces!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £13.00
  4. A compact guide to international migration: history and present
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 30 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore and understand trends and developments in international migration since the industrial revolution.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £35.00
  5. City Riverside: Cannon Street to Blackfriars
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 6 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Since the City opened up its river path, the lesser known north bank of the Thames between Blackfriars and Cannon Street stations and beyond provides fabulous views of Bankside and on the City side you discover a hidden monument to Shakespeare, several historic Livery Halls, colourful mosaics at an ancient landing place, an art nouveau decorated pub, a famous boys’ school and more!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £13.00
  6. Spies in Modern Literature: John Le Carre, Javier Marias & Graham Greene
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How relevant is spy literature in the 21st century? How has it evolved? This course will consider the complex narrative enticements of two acclaimed masters of the genre operating at the high end between popular entertainment and serious art form, and revisit a classic text from the 1970s whose psychological realism and moral questioning still resonate with us today.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £42.00
  7. Writing the personal: autobiographical theatre
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 15 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to select and shape your own life experiences into a dynamic text for live performance on this supportive online course. Suitable for those with some experience of creative writing.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  8. How to write a short story
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Through a series of inspiring and practical exercises, you'll be encouraged to tap into your imagination and draft a short story from beginning to end in four days.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Micropoetry: small poems, big ideas
    Course Date:  Fri 23 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the emerging art form of micropoetry in this fun but informative day workshop. Compose your own poetry and learn how to make every word on the page count.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  10. A taste of philosophy
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you ever wondered what philosophy is? What do philosophers talk about? Can they tell you the meaning of life or is it just jargon and navel gazing? Come along and find out.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  11. Playwriting: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the fundamental techniques of writing for the stage in this introductory short course online. Get to grips with dialogue, character, story and structure, and start work on your own play.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  12. Writing and rewriting fairytales
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Once upon a time there was a City Lit workshop led by a romance author who loved fairytales. Her quest: to inspire writers to pen stories of love, fear, forests, revenge, dragons, witches, kings, queens, frogs and magic.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  13. Creating your author platform online
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 2 Jun 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Increasingly publishers are looking for an author with an impressive online presence, as well as a sparkling manuscript. In this workshop, you'll learn how to start and grow your author brand, gain a following and build a readership for your future titles.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  14. Writing memoir: a taster
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 2 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you have a personal story to tell that will move, delight, stir and inform readers? This short course guides students in planning and crafting a memoir.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  15. Film studies taster
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 16 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to evaluate and discuss films while enjoying a working example of a City Lit film studies class.

    We will view clips from a wide variety of films, exploring themes and technique in British cinema and modern American cinema. There will be a chance to review term one film courses at City Lit (September - December 2021).

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £6.00

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